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Labelling and Producing Organic Food

 

Some of you out there might think that the labels on food can be misleading and untrustworthy, so I am going to explain the laws and regulations about labelling and producing organic food.

If you want to grow or process organic food to sell you must be registered with UKROFS or a body approved by UKROFS. This also means that you have to be inspected by them at least once a year. This also applies to those wanting to import organic produce from outside the EC (European Community). The UKROFS approved bodies do operate privately but they have to be inspected by UKROFS, to make sure that their systems conform to the EC regulations and UKROFS standards. UKROFS also carries out checks on farmers and processors registered with the sector bodies to make totally sure the regulations are adhered to.

There are also rigorous standards of production surrounding organic food. There have been many codes for organic farming prepared by voluntary bodies and applied by their members. However, in 1993 a European regulation became affective. This regulation describes practices and inputs that may be used in organic farming and growing, also the inspection system which must be put in place to ensure this and the ingredients and processing aids in organic food. All food and drink that is sold as organic must come from growers that are registered with UKROFS and subjected to regular inspections. UKROFS consists of an independent board appointed by agricultural Ministers, which is assisted by a small secretariat, provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The job of the UKROFS is to insure that the EC Regulation is followed by all organic farmers and processors.

As for organic imported food you can trust it because the EC Regulation operates throughout the whole European Community so organic food produced under the Ec Regulation can be freely sold within the EC. This means that you may see the names or symbols of the certifying bodies from other EC countries. There are some countries outside the EC that have recognised regulations very similar to our system, produce from these countries can also be sold freely. As for other countries, before they can sell food labelled as organic they must prove to the UKROFS or similar body in another EC country, that the food has been produced to an equivalent standard and inspection system.

Products such as potatoes must be grown by a certified producer of organic foods if it is to be labelled as organic. You would see on the label something like "Organically Grown Potatoes" or "Organic Potatoes". Also on the label there must be an indication of the organic certification body with which the potatoes are registered. This will be done using a code nu\mber - if it is not there then it is breaking the regulation. There also may be the name or trademark of the certification body. For more information about the current UK standards please click here.The rules are the same for manufactured foods with one or more organic ingredients. An example of this is in the case of bread, the label might say "wholemeal bread baked from organic flour" or "organic wholemeal bread". It is recognised by the EU that it is not possible to make products entirely from organic ingredients. In this case the manufacturer can use up to 5% of non-organic ingredients and still label the product organic. However artificial additives and genetically modified ingredients can never be used in organic produce.If foods contain from 70 to 95% of organic ingredients they can not call the food 'organic' but they can list what organic ingredients have been used in the ingredients list. They can also have a description on the front label showing the percentage of organic ingredients.

The production of all organic foods is provided by the EC. There are also standards for animal production being developed however, until these rules are in place the national standards like those of the UKROFS are to be used in the UK. The aim of these regulations is to keep animals in good health and welfare. Giving animals appropriate diets and keeping good standards for their day-to-day care promotes animal welfare. This includes if the animals are ever ill, the farmer must give appropriate treatment. If there is no alternative treatment available to the animals then they will be given drugs such as antibiotics. Only under veterinary advice and when the animals life and suffering depends on it. If treatment from a vet is needed then no product from the animal can be sold as organic in most cases twice as long as the normal 'withdrawal period' for that medicine takes.

Not under any circumstances can organophosphorus pesticides be used to treat animals sold for organic meat. Also the conditions of transportation and slaughter of the animals has to meet specific requirements, this is to make sure it is carried out in a humane way. Organic food is no longer classed as a luxury, it is readily available, legally bound, water-tight healthy food. Please think hard about what you are feeding your family, and make sure its safe.

There are rules surrounding the labelling of organic produce, these rules come from the Council Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 of 24 June 1991 on organic production of agricultural products and indications referring thereto on agricultural products and foodstuffs. These regulations are to ensure that consumers aren't mislead.

 

Pasture v Feedlot Diet

 

Commercially reared animals are over fed to fatten then up quicker, and this can have a very negative effect on the animals health and wellbeing. Firstly animals can develop a condition called "acidosis". If animals are kept on pasture the huge amounts of acid they produce in their stomachs (rumen) is neutralised by the amount of saliva they produce eating grass. However, if the animals are are on feedlot diets their diet is low in roughage, they do not ruminate as long or produce as much saliva. This all contributes towards a condition called"acidosis" - severe acid indigestion. This condition can also lead to "rumenitis," which is an inflammation of the rumen (stomach). This eventually leads to the wall of the rumen becoming ulcerated, and they no longer absorb nutrients as efficiently. That's not the end of it either! liver abscesses are a direct consequence of rumenitis - from 15 to 30 percent of cattle that have feedlot diets have liver abscesses. A fourth consequence of this type of diet is called 'Bloat', which is trapped gas in the cows rumen (stomach). In severe cases of bloat the rumen becomes so distended with gas that the animal is unable to breathe and dies from asphyxiation.

Feedlot polio is also a direct consequence of switching animals from pasture to grain. Feedlot polio causes a lack of vitamin B-1 this starves the brain of energy and creates paralysis. Feedlot managers try to manage these problems by using a chest of medication, including ionophores (to buffer acidity) and antibiotics (to reduce liver abscesses.) Surely most people with common sense see that feeding animals their natural diet of pasture is a much more humane and sensible approach.

 

About Pages - Topics & Content

About - Page 1

About Us

Verdict on GM Crop - 22.03.05

Why go Organic?

 

About - Page 2:

Labelling and Producing Organic Food

Pasture v Feedlot Diet

 

About - Page 3:

Battery Hens

 

About - Page 4:

How to Obtain Optimum Health - Ten Steps

 

 

 

 

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